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ONE Championship: Three Fighters We Want To See In Openweight Muay Thai Grand Prix

By Mike Joseph

Singapore, January 23: ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong announced the promotion's blockbuster ONE Openweight Muay Thai World Grand Prix earlier this month.

The unprecedented tournament will see 16 of the world's best strikers - from any weight class - squaring off when it goes down sometime this year, and the internet has been set alight with debate about who should take part.

We figured we should wade into the chatter, so here are three striking superstars we would love to see competing for the Grand Prix title and US$1,000,000 prize.

Rodtang Jitmuangnon

A Muay Thai tournament would not be complete without one of the biggest superstars in the sport today, Rodtang Jitmuangnon.

The ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion is arguably the most prolific striker on the ONE roster, having reeled off a perfect 13-0 in Muay Thai and kickboxing since joining the promotion in 2018.

Rodtang's flyweight stature would likely make him one of the smaller fighters in the openweight format, but his skills are undeniable, and he would be a handful for anyone who stands opposite him.

Regian Eersel

Regian Eersel is the undisputed king of the lightweight strikers. "The Immortal" holds both the ONE Lightweight Kickboxing and Muay Thai World Titles, so he'd be a natural fit for the Grand Prix.

Eersel has been plying his trade in kickboxing since joining ONE in 2018, but he made his Muay Thai debut in 2022 when he defeated Sinsamut Klinmee for the vacant lightweight strap.

The 30-year-old is no stranger to the "art of eight limbs," however, having competed extensively in the sport before joining ONE. His experience and double-champ skill set would possibly make him a favorite in the tournament.

Roman Kryklia

Roman Kryklia is also a kickboxer by trade, but he competed under Muay Thai rules early in his career.

The ONE Light Heavyweight Kickboxing World Champion and ONE Heavyweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix Champion has been utterly dominant in his ONE tenure so far, reeling off five wins in a row, with four of those victories ending inside two rounds.

Yes, Kryklia has become a kickboxing specialist, but his six-foot-seven frame would add a whole new dimension to the tournament - and make it a true openweight Grand Prix.

Source: Media Release

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Story first published: Monday, January 23, 2023, 19:25 [IST]
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